There is a heated competition, and a great storyline, brewing in Georgia Bulldog country at the kicker position!
First you have Coach Mark Richt stating that finding someone to solve the Bulldogs' kickoff problems as perhaps the biggest question mark between now and the fall.
This means there is trouble at the kicking position and with the defense last year struggling like it did, the Bulldogs cannot afford to not have the opposing teams starting at the 20 on each new position.
Second you have Blair Walsh who believes he is still the answer to the Bulldogs kicking problem. When asked if Walsh wants to give place kicking and focus solely on field goals, he said:
"Absolutely not," Walsh said. "I came here to do both, and that's what I want to do."
Eight of Walsh's 75 kickoffs went out of bounds last season, including two against Georgia Tech in a 45-42 loss in the regular-season finale.
Here's what Coach Mark Richt has to say about Blair Walsh:
"I think Blair is a very fine extra-point and field-goal kicker, and I think he's got the potential to be a good kickoff man also," Richt said. "We never really found an answer last season. Some of it could have been Blair doing his thing at the college level and maybe getting a little leg weary as the season went on."
So obviously Walsh is not very keen on the idea of giving up the kicking position, regardless if it's for kickoffs or field goals.
And third you have Brandon Bogotay, a junior college kicker from Grossmont College in El Cajon, CA. He was named a first-team all-Southern Conference selection.
Bogotay's longest field goal was from 52 yards.
Richt said he's looking forward to Bogotay "competing on our kickoff, field goal, and extra point teams."
So what can we expect this summer as we move toward a September 5th kickoff at Oklahoma?
One thing is for sure, Blair is not ready to give up the position anytime soon and is ready to fight for his position. However, going against that grain is Coach Richt and staff ready and anxious to fill an important kicking deficiency, which in turn will dramatically help the defense coming onto the field.
And finally, we have Brandon Bogotay coming from junior college, and from the other side of the country, with obviously something to prove.
After all, you don't send in your own video tape of your kicking game to the coaches, and travel all the way to the other side of the country, unless you've got something to prove.
Here's a video of Coach Mark Richt talking about the new kicker Brandon Bogotay.
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